Bloom: End of Year Review

On January 1, 2014 I published this post: Bloom. As I explain it was not a New Years Resolution but an embrace of the year. Well, the year is not quite over, but with two weeks left I feel I can safely write a year in review.

Used With Permission

Used With Permission

Bloom, it was such an optimistic word. I talked about the layers of complexity, I touched on the fact that the bloom was still fragile, for me I had no idea how fragile this year would make me. My marriage ended, my home has been split apart, I am navigating as a single parent and a single woman. All the while pastoring a church full of complexity, as any institution. I’ve lost a staff member and creative partner to relapse. I’ve lost friends, not just in divorce, but through death. I’ve been heartbroken by the news and the state of the world over and over again.

I’ve struggled more days than not this year to get out of bed. I’ve revisited more issues and had more triggers come up in this year than any other. I doubled my therapy sessions. I’ve cried almost everyday. I’m exhausted all the time. Every time I’ve turned a corner or another week there’s been “one more thing” that’s happened.

This year has been the shittiest year of my life. By far the most painful.

I think about the word bloom, I thought the word was picked because I was blossoming, opening, spreading my wings to fly. But in all reality, the year taught me how fragile life is. Which brings me back to the bloom of a flower. It is the most fragile part of the plant. The roots, the stalk, the leaves all sturdy, but the bloom needs to be protected. There are countless elements that can harm the bloom. Too hot/cold, too much/little water, it rains too hard, the wind blows too hard, animals eat them. Even if the bloom survives all these elements it still only lasts a few days before death. It is the definition of fragile.

One of the things I admire most about blooms is their ability to protect themselves. During the day they open wide and bask in sunlight, at night, they close in and protect themselves. I will shine because of this year, and am many ways I am. I have grown in confidence in myself and my abilities more than ever before. There has been a renewal of self-respect and allowing myself grace. I have also discovered the beauty of allowing others to help me, that’s the thing about your world being completely different than it was a year ago, I’m too tired to hold up that heavy wall I’ve been using to keep people out.

Last year I struggled to find a word to define my year. Even when I picked “Bloom” I was in a lot of denial about my life and the circumstances of what was happening around me. However, it has not been an inappropriate word, just turned out a little differently than expected.

2015’s word, however, has come freely and easily. It’s coming soon, wait for it…